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Showing 1-9 of 9 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on July 8, 2015
I have the book which is a very good read, but to buy any "ABRIDGED" audio book which can leave out half the chapters is very disappointing to me. That's like buying a book which contains 12 chapters and only getting 8 chapters.
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on October 16, 2007
Based on the hundreds of glowing reviews on this website, I appear to be in a tiny minority regarding my opinion. Please read this review as a counterpoint to some of MANHUNT's praise.

MANHUNT has its merits. I'll point you to many other well-written reviews for evidence. Here's my beef: The author seems to mix fact with imaginative embellishment (read: fiction) for hightened drama. When setting most scenes, Mr. Swanson describes particular sensory conditions with great specificity like smells, lighting conditions, facial expressions, and most impresively, Booth's emotions.

My question is this: Where would he get this information from such a wide range of sources 140 years later? Eyewitness reports? I doubt it, especially when it comes to "enhancements" of Booth's motivations, emotions, and thought processes. (The man was killed before he had time to jot down a memoir...) Therefore, very large portions of this text must have come out of the author's imagination.

All this does "spice up" what's turned into a plausable historical tale. But what's real? What's not? It's impossible to know. Not that I would only endorse dry historic chronicles. This story would be intriguing and exciting enough without the author's efforts to "take it up a notch".

I couldn't take it seriously, and therefore couldn't finish it. Grade: D.
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on March 24, 2015
I suppose this book is valued by dedicated historians of Lincoln. However, I found it to suffer from excessive detail, assumed perceptions, and general prolixity. For a casual to active reader who wants to read a book on the assassination of Lincoln without writing a thesis, I recommend Killing Lincoln by O'Reilly. It was excellent.
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on November 27, 2011
I have just finished Manhunt and found it somewhat interesting, but not enough new facts to make it worth while. Plus it was way too long and ponderous, and at time tedious in the extreme.

However, apart from that, there were a few things that really caught in my craw.

One was Swanson's constant Jesus comparisons. I just can't see Jesus creeping up behind someone and putting a bullet in their brain. I understand that is not what Swanson was implying but still the comparisons did get old. Even without the comparisons to Jesus - I just cannot see Booths assassination of Lincoln as the act of a hero, or even of a man worthy of respect. In my opinion he was a vain, pompous and misguided fool who was unable to distinguish where the floodlights ended and the real world began.

Another thing that really annoyed me was the constant sap about Booths poor living conditions whilst he was on the run. Poor soul hadn't slept in a nice warm bed for days!! Give me a break - his victim, our President was DEAD! But on and on Swanson went about Booth being cold and wet and bitten by bugs and not getting a good meal or a good night's sleep. Oh really!! How did he think President Lincoln was feeling, he was pretty cold too, and his dreams had been left unfullfilled. Not to mention his poor wife and children and the pain they were in, and our Government left in shambles. Then there's our Country that had just come through a Civil War and was on the verge of starting to repair. Then again, come to think of it, Swanson hardly mentioned any of that. But poor Booth was awfully cold and his leg was sore ... tough! He gets no tears or sympathy from me, no matter how hard this author tried.

How did Swanson think the armies, on both sides, had lived for four very long years? Yet all the while the war raged Booth had lived in luxury. And yet Swanson never once made that comparison nor commented on the irony.

Sorry Mr Swanson, but this book just didn't make the grade for me; and by the way, I haven't forgiven Booth for killing President Lincoln. It is my belief that that one tiny piece of lead made vast and devastating changes to our countries history. Without Lincoln at our helm we veered towards a path that carried on a Cold Civil War that one could argue is still going on to this day.

I gave it 2 stars because it's not completely horrendous .... just not very good.
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on March 12, 2013
Thought this would be a fitting sequel to The Team of Rivals, but was so wrong. Wordy, repetitious, overly dramatic.
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on November 11, 2013
After the first 100 pages, there was far too much detail in the story of the hunt. I was bored.
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on November 10, 2006
Although sometimes entertaining, this is a light-weight and over-written account of one of the most important events in American history. The style recalls the days of authors being paid by the word, and it seems to have been composed for an audience of pre-teens. The overblown language used to describe Lincoln would have made that most skeptical and irreligious of presidents laugh. (His "sacred blood," and the "sacred locks of hair" of the "martyr.") One who read this comes away thinking Edwin Stanton, the ferociously partisan zealot who frequently referred to Lincoln as "the baboon", was his most loyal disciple. Nor is much said of such key figures as the president's missing guard, John Parker, or of the suspicious behavior of Stanton and others which has historically given rise to serious questions of a wider conspiracy. In a book devoted to the assassination and the hunt for those responsible, these are very serious omissions.
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on March 27, 2015
Fascinating, the details, the people Booth saw, talked to and lived with is terrific...Hard to put the book down..
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on July 10, 2006
A good topic and many interesting facts but they are jumbled into a mix of unorganized thoughts and generalizations. I will not recommend this book. If you like history read River of Doubt instead.
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